2019 Fire Door Safety Week Campaign
The seventh Fire Door Safety Week took place between 23rd to 29th September 2019. The 2019 campaign shone a spotlight on the critical role fire doors play in protecting us when we’re asleep, particularly in specialised housing such as care homes, children’s homes and sheltered housing as well as houses in multiple occupation and communal properties.
It’s crucial that fire doors are properly installed and maintained, and good fire safety practice is shared and followed. Good practice is especially important in buildings with multiple occupants and residents who may be vulnerable and this is why the 2019 campaign kicked off with research into safety concerns in care home.
A focus on care homes:
The research, which was conducted among 1,000 current and former care home employees, found that three quarters believe that more could be done to prevent or manage a fire, with three in five workers having reported fire safety concerns – but half (51%) say that unsatisfactory action was taken as a result.
There is also a worrying lack of clarity among care home workers around fire doors. Nearly half (47%) said they did not understand the role a fire door plays in keeping a fire contained for a specified time, while over eight in ten (82%) admitted to deliberately keeping a fire door open – defeating its purpose.
These highly concerning findings underline how crucial fire safety is, and the fundamental role that fire doors play – especially so in light of recent instances of damaging care home fires which have threatened the lives of residents. Evacuation strategies in care homes are very specialised, accounting for the fact that many residents will need assistance. These strategies rely on the ability of fire doors to perform their function in holding back fire and smoke to allow adequate time for rescue. It is hoped that through raising awareness during Fire Door Safety Week, lives will be saved through a reappraisal of fire doors and safety arrangements in multiple occupancy buildings where vulnerable residents live.